Village News (April 11, 2019)
By Gary Dyck
The Value of Meetings
Last week we (the Mennonite Heritage Village) hosted our Annual General Meeting. AGM isn’t an exciting title for an event is it? All three of those words are ordinary – put them all together and you have sublime mundanity. Maybe we should change the title from AGM to LHFWHCATERAS (Look How Far We Have Come And The Exciting Road Ahead Showdown)? If business is going well it is exciting to see the results. If business is not going well it is exciting to think about what can and should be changed.
AGMs are the opportunity for the community of an organization to reflect and move forward together. It is good to read through the reports of the different departments and ask questions. It is also an annual rite of passage for staff and managers to reflect and see how they intersect with the other departments and the previous year.
Another valuable part of AGMs are the discussions afterwards. The community can discuss in more personal detail the information that was presented. Managers and staff are usually available for some good conversations over refreshments. And as Shelby Davis, one of the most successful investors ever said, “Face-to-face meetings separate the bluffers from the doers.” Internet and other media can easily mask or sometimes misconstrue the character of society’s leaders, while asking questions on the spot and later over coffee reveal a deeper side.
In our report book, we had great write-ups from our Curatorial department, Admission and Retail, Facility Rentals, Program Manager, Development Coordinator, the Board, MHV Auxiliary, Budgets and much more. Admission is up from 40,000 in 2017 to 46,000 in 2018! Membership is up 300%! Operating expenses were met, but the challenges of future budgets remain. 2018 saw a new exhibit opened, a statue unveiled, a building opened, books launched and new events. It really is amazing what this museum all does within a year. When you look at a day, it can feel like you are not getting much done. When you look at a year (or five), it can be astonishing how much has happened.
I find myself enjoying the orderliness of AGMs, reflecting on the reports given, wondering what questions are going to be asked and discussing the meaning of it all with like-minded members afterwards. Hope to see you at our next AGM!
Calendar of Events
April 17, Low German Teaser
April 19, MHV closed for Good Friday
April 23, Volunteer Orientation – 7:30 PM
April 26, MHV Auxiliary Fashion Show ‘Something Old, Something New’
May 1, Village Grounds and Livery Barn Restaurant open for the season
May 11, Manitoba Day celebrations
May 25, Russländer Tribute and Fundraiser Banquet